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Body-Worn Police Cameras: Eric Garner

When Eric Garner died of an apparent chokehold involving an NYPD officer on Staten Island in July, the incident was caught on camera. The city medical examiner ruled that Garner’s death was a homicide, thanks, in part, to the video footage.

Tragedies like these are extreme examples of why outfitting police officers with video recording equipment is a necessity. In the case of Garner, the video was not taken by police. Instead, a bystander recorded the incident that led to Garner’s death. While the video footage in this scenario proved helpful, body-worn police cameras are much better suited for these purposes.

Earl Ward, a civil rights attorney and former commissioner of the city Civilian Complaint Review Board, made an interesting point regarding body-worn police cameras in a New York Daily News article regarding the Eric Garner incident. Ward believes that not only will body-worn police cameras protect ordinary citizens, but they will also protect the rights of the police officers who wear them.

“As a civil rights attorney, I can only say that body cameras are a no-brainer,” Ward said. “It creates an objective record.”

New York City public advocate Letitia James has taken up the cause of promoting body-worn police cameras since Garner’s death. She believes that body-worn police cameras will create better accountability among officers in the NYPD. Although proposals have been made to retrain officers better, James believes cameras would be more impactful.

“Simply rewriting the rules is not enough,” James said.

Since July there has been more progress concerning the issue of body-worn police cameras. In response to a 2013 court ruling by federal Judge Shira Scheindlin, the city recently announced a pilot program for body-worn police cameras. It’s a big step in the right direction, but James thinks that more can be done to avoid incidents like the one that led to Garner’s death.

“Our recommendation goes further than the program proposed in Judge Scheindlin’s opinion; we are calling for a pilot to be followed by city-wide implementation.”

Body-worn police cameras have already been used in over 3,000 police departments around the country.

One of the best ways to create trust between police officers and the community in which they serve is through video equipment for and body-worn police cameras. Mobile-Vision provides the latest in video equipment for police officers, including body-worn police cameras, dashboard cameras for police cars, as well as  VIEVU. VIEVU  can help check potential incidents and give your officers much-needed evidence to help corroborate depositions.

However, many officers might also be aided by the use of cameras when they’re not on foot. In these situations, products like the FlashbackHD are essential tools for police officers. The FlashbackHD provides a 70-degree field of vision and can be rotated 360 degrees to capture video in any direction.

Help build trust for police officers within your community, while creating better accountability by outfitting your officers with the latest in video equipment for police officers.

If you are interested in learning more about video equipment for police officers, please click here or call Mobile-Vision at (800) 336-8475.

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